The leader of the world's largest bloc of Muslim countries says the slaying of three college students in North Carolina has raised international concerns about "rising anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobic acts" in the United States.

According to a press release Saturday from the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Secretary General Iyad Madani calls on the U.S. government to take more steps to protect against "stereotyping, discrimination and profiling." Madani welcomed the FBI's investigation into the case and praised President Barack Obama for comments condemning the targeting of people for how they worship.

Police are investigating whether the killings were a hate crime, as the victims' family members contend. The OIC release says Madani thanks the American people for "rejecting the murder which bear the symptoms of a hate crime."